The word “outrage” is overused in our society, particularly in current affairs. Personally, I wish I had never used the word before in my life, so I could have saved all its potency for this one item:
A Pennsylvania judge has dismissed the charges against a Muslim who assaulted another man who was insulting Mohammed, telling the victim “you’re way outside your bounds on First Amendment rights.”
Not only did Judge Mark Martin of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania dismiss assault charges against Talag Elbayomy, he reprimanded the victim, telling him that in much of the world he would face the death penalty for what he did. Judge Martin also took the time to correct the victim’s misunderstanding of Muslim theology, as if that had anything whatsoever to do with the assault charge.
This is an outrage.
UPDATE: Transcript here.
UPDATE: According to some reports, Judge Martin is a Muslim convert. An earlier version of the transcript linked above seemed to confirm that, but Martin’s staff denies that he is a Muslim and the transcript may have been in error. Since the question is irrelevant — other than as a motive for such an outrageous ruling — I’m deleting it from this post.
Ordinarily a court recorder would have taken down an official transcript, which would have averted this confusion. In this case, however, no transcript was taken and the judge is threatening the victim with contempt for recording the proceedings, which is about as clear an indication of malfeasance as you could hope for.
UPDATE: Judge Martin responds here. He claims that he did not let Elbayomy off scot-free because the victim insulted Mohammed, but because there was insufficient evidence that an assault occurred. I fail to see how that could be, since, according to the arresting officer (cue to 2:03 in the video above), Elbayomy admitted grabbing the victim’s beard and sign.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t accurate for me to say, as I did in an earlier version of this post, that Martin ruled that Muslims are allowed to assault people who insult Mohammed. He let the perpetrator off and reprimanded the victim, but he didn’t actually come out and say that the assault was permitted. I have revised the post accordingly.